Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Right Face

I was so unhappy yesterday. The club grossed me out, and I was sick of disgusting girls and grinding boys. I kept on looking for someone who had the "right face": that certain look that showed me that not only did they understand, but they were feeling the same way. There was no one. There was lots of people looking at me, watching openly or covertly, but only with lust, admiration, or jealousy on their faces.

Normally there is no one.

I always check.

Sometimes, of course, I do see one and then we share a secret half-smile, but it never goes farther than that. I check because it comforts me greatly, it is a joy and a relief to know that I am not the only one trapped in this hellish place by choice. Someone too who feels dirty and low when faking enthusiasm or dancing slink-ily with a forced smile, someone else who thinks that the smoke from the smoke machine smells like a boy's cologne, someone who notices things like the way the small port-hole windows had ice crstyals forming on the outside.

Someone who wishes they were somewhere else, but really couldn't say exactly where, and in the meantime realizes that it's better to be somewhere, even a dance club, than nowhere. That it's safer to have the floor firmly under your feet and a beat deafening your ears, but longs for the courage to overcome that safety net and jump out in the chance that something truly extraordinary could happen.

That's why I always search for the face, that face in the mob of thrashing sweaty limbs and intoxicated twirls that stands out and says:
I know too.
We understand it, even if they can't see it."
It's like being the only sane person in an asylum, or trapped in a nightmare where everyone is dying and you are the only person left alive. Maybe it's a spark of intelligence I'm looking for, or a touch of humanity. It's like a light: they stand out from the others.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ma Robe Magique

So I have this Magic Dress. I just discovered it's powers this weekend, and I can't stop spreading the news. It doesn't look like much, honestly, it's just a mini-dress from a common store, and it has small black and white stripes. The neckline is boring, not too high or low, but I guess it's flattering... I don't know. It has a huge cut-out in the back, and I think that is the only thing that stops it from being completely run-of-the-mill.
But this dress is not ordinary, nor is it run-of-the-mill. This dress bestows the wearer with a magical amount of confidence, no matter how bad they are feeling, or how greasy their hair is that day. It's pretty simple: you slip on The Dress and all of the sudden no one can take their eyes off of you. The world is your oyster. You can do no wrong; everything you touch turns to gold.
For example:
my parents were supposed to come back from England, but they are stuck there because of the Icelandic volcano. No worries, sister D and I are busy studying, and grocery shopping, and enjoying the fabulous weather. So Friday night I was supposed to be going to this concert with Katie Davey and Erica, Wool on Wolves, but I was also driving brother J around from drama and back. Long story short I was super rushed getting ready and because the weather was so warm I decided to just throw on this dress I've never worn before. I pulled my hair back and did minimum make-up, as there was just no time. I was meeting Katie Davey and Erica at the venue and when I got there it was packed with all these super cool hipster-types (who, if you don't know, are more than a bit intimidating with their judgmental stares). But I swear it was the dress: people started coming up and introducing themselves to me. Guys who had no clue who I was started hitting on me. I was golden and had no fear. Eventually it got ridiculous and we went dancing, but that wasn't much better. It's not that they weren't all great guys, just none of them were right for me, y'know?
Anyways, The Dress still had a lesson for me to learn. I, shy, retiring, can't talk to cute boys me, I saw this guy standing by himself watching the concert. And for the first time in my LIFE, I decided to go talk to him without him first talking to me.
"Allright girls," I said to Katie Davey and Erica, "I am going to go talk to that boy. Be my wingmen." Slightly shocked, but with multitudes of giggles, they followed me to where he stood.
And I started talking to him.
I swear it was the dress.
And of course he asked for my number.
(on a side note, he called me yesterday but I was busy. Maybe next weekend, I said.)
But the point of all this is that this dress, this boring, simple, plain dress, taught me that the greatest way to be beautiful is to have confidence. It is an inner-glow that comes from being at peace with who you are, and to be happy with oneself. It sounds hippy-ish, but it's true! My mother (and others) always told me that true beauty came from the inside, and for the first time in my life I agree. If you truly don't care how much attention is paid to you, then it shows. It's all about the confidence and attitude. And that's something that you can't lose with age; in fact, it probably increases with age.
Now, if only I could transfer that confidence to my other clothes, I would be set.
And just as a precaution, I am never washing The Dress.
Or wearing it needlessly.
I'm not superstitious.

The Magic Dress. taken by: A during our latest LookBook shoot.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

i can't think, so i'll distract you with some pictures

Mel in Canmore.
Mel and I took pictures in a graveyard on our ill-fated return trip from Canmore. We were just sticking with the Gothic mood of the whole journey.
Blue potatoes! They make the most gorgeous potato salad.
Moni at the new art gallery for my birthday.
We drank lemonade in Churchill Square.
The uber talented Mary. She sings, plays guitar, AND longboards. Recently she brought her guitar to campus and we all just sat around and let her provide the background music to the movie of our lives.
K, looking chic as always.
A. We did one last LookBook shoot before she flew off the France last week. She is going to be gone for 3 months or so, and after her gig in France the rest of Europe is hers for the taking.

This is how the coming of summer appears to me:
it is the end of classes, and all of the sudden your week-days and weekends sort of blur, and you lose track of what the date is.
It is when you have friends over for beer and pizza and a movie, and the movie is crap and the pizza is expensive and yet you still enjoy yourself.
It is S texting me late at night and meeting her at Denny's for grilled cheese with fries.
It is bare legs and crazy hair and studying in the sun.
It is sleeping with your window open in an ever-increasing crack until it stays wide open for months. And the breeze is warm and the birds come back from the south.

Helped K buy her plane ticket yesterday, as she is coming to travel with me when I am done my dig in June. We are going to Turkey to stay with some friends of my dad's in Istanbul, and then we are going to Egypt for a while. She is leaving me in Rome, when I start my art history class in August. I am so excited. Buying international plane tickets is hard! We wanted the best deal, of course, so we ended up exploring 1000 different airlines, and finally pieced together 2 flights, one from AirTransat, and one using British Airways.

I am studying for exams, and it seems to drain my energy for anything else requiring thought. Ugh, I can't even find the strength to pull things out of my brain and post them, so I'll post some film pictures of this late winter/early spring.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's a Drought

The dryness makes me anxious, and feel old and cracked like the earth in the park, on the highway. "It's the dryest spring on record," they are saying in the supermarket, and I rub Vaseline onto my hands every night.

The snow is all gone, melted away a month before it's supposed to, and there will be no grass this spring I fear.

I yearn for the dampness, the healthy vitality of the coast. The clouds gather every night but not a single drop is spilled. The poor crops, I think, having no clue what the farmers are feeling. The poor trees I say, as we (along with thousands of others) chop down our dead dehydrated beeches.

"We water our willow every night" said Emily and Serge, and across the province we see people watering their trees to keep them alive. Will the buds turn to dust before they fully open? And I, I who grew up praying for rain to stop, to not flood our house, for some relief against a week-long onslaught of wasteful water from the sky, I am praying for it to come, for the clouds to break, and to wash the curb-high dust away. Everything is gritty and grey, even the sky (especially the sky), and the ceiling fans in the cafe do little good to provide a breath of fresh air; it's so heavy it just hangs there and sticks to our sweaty cheeks. But it's when the sun shines and the blueness is untouched by clouds that our spirits truly groan, for that signals that there is not even a small hope that the rain might come.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

La Dolce Vita

J using the old film camera to take pictures on Friday.

soaking up the sun/posing for J

We wanted to go back to Vancouver, to visit our family, but then we heard that they were gone to the island, and so instead we stayed here and it was lovely. I watched la Dolce Vita over the course of 3 days (it is a loooong movie), and we picnicked in the park and the movie influenced my words and breathing and so it seems as if the entire weekend was in black and white, with beautiful people, with every line being said significant, with every action meaningful and bizarre.
I invited le Terrible to spend Sunday with us, and he did, and we were all charming and loud and full of laughter and light. The entire house and all our guests were under our influence, and everything was good: good food, good wine, good conversation. I revel in days like yesterday; to glow and to spin webs of crystallized threads of thought, to make people laugh and to die of laughter myself, to drink in the sun and warmth and that unspeakable, intangible quality... is it love? Love for fellow humans, for le Terrible on my right and A on my left, for Henry and Donna across the table... sometimes, humanity itself is good. Love for salmon en croute (with leeks and a dill Hollandaise), love for an Okanogan Chardonnay, love for sun-drenched parks with dusty brown grass... I think it's love for la Dolce Vita.

Sylvia in her evening gown, twirling in the Trevi Fountain.
Nico with the helmet of a soldier, and ghost-hunts.
The girl in the cafe with the profile of a Rubini angel.
Marcello, twisted, tortured Marcello who seems to have no control over the Fates.

Lying underneath the streams of wind, trying to pretend it's summer.
Walking for hours in the dark at 1 a.m. and not shivering, eating pizza.
When you reach that point where a flick of your wrist says a whole essay to your friends.

"What's better, gin or J I N?" she said to me.
"I think the two are non interchangeable" I replied, and they understood.
"We are NOT standing in line for 45 minutes to get into the Strat," K said firmly, "Even if they do have $1 beer."
"I'm sorry," I apologized to le Terrible, "I don't even notice it even more, because I grew up with it. But today, watching through your eyes, I can see how awkward and cliche it all is."
"Hahaha," laughed J, "what did you say?"
"You just made a funny mouth noise!" I sputtered out.
The sweetness is intoxicating, addictive, a drug that doesn't quietly seep into your system but overwhelms and sweeps in with grandeur and grace. There is no use resisting, and once you've tasted it, had it forced upon you, you will forever be searching for its equivalent. La Dolce Vita, those perfect days, they run my life. You can't make them happen, they just occur sometimes. And when they do they shine like stars in the darkness of your memory, and guide your way at night. Haha, that's kind of cheesy. But I'm leaving it there anyways.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Come Soon Spring

(sister D, late August '09)

A lazy hour we snatched from our structured schedules and spent it wisely, laying on the grass, in the sun, in the wind, discussing gender politics in society and Wes Anderson films, and every once in a while sighing and closing our eyes and heliotrophing towards the sun.
The Kooks played from his cracked ipod and across the field a boy with strange brown hair and white sunnies romanced a guitar into spilling forth the sweetest sounds.

Spring comes late in the North, and every morning I check the tree outside my window for buds, for little cracks of green that show yes, life is coming, and I don't tell people this but in my head I talk to the tree, encourage it, say "Please, let spring be here soon".

"We'll make an exception for you" he said with a smile that made me catch my breath, and it reminded me of almost two years ago when we were so in sync that our thoughts would get tangled and pull us under and we almost drowned, and that's why it didn't work out. It makes us friends now, but on a level that could easily slip back to what it formerly was and so be slow, proceed with caution, and watch your step.
I need a blood transfusion, a whole batch of new blood, I think.
To echo the new, the freshness of spring.
Please, let spring be here soon.